A group of us walked over to Dupont Circle's Odeon Cafe for one of my roommates' birthday this past week. With some stiff competition in the near 3-4 block radius, one would think a restaurant around there should be on its game. Odeon Cafe was in a word, mediocre. While it was pretty busy for a Sunday night, the service was not attentive. Maybe it's cause the group of us girls looked on the young side in comparison to the other patrons, but when I go to a restaurant, I expect good service regardless of who I'm with or how old I am. For the record, I'm young enough to get carded, but I'm not that young. At the end of the meal, I'm going to put my plastic card on the table and pay just like everybody else. So the service should be up to par. Also, I know the kitchen is hot and serving is fast-paced. But when a waiter is anxious and sweaty, it tends to make me a) jittery, b) feel like I'm bothering them or c) worry about droplets of sweat from their brow falling into my food.
The bread was decent, served with some off-tasting olive oil concoction that I'm guessing had some garlic and basil in it (think pesto-ish dip). We passed on appetizers and dessert...so there's another reason why this review is short. However, if dinner was any indication, I don't think I missed much.
Presentation? Simple enough. Although one friend ordered their rigatoni con pollo e pesto, which came out looking way over oxidized and brownish. Oxidized pesto (or guacamole, for that matter) just does not look appetizing. I ordered spaghetti and meatballs, so adventurous I know, but I was really in the mood for a classic. The sauce was like slightly watered down tomato sauce from a can and had that same offish taste in the olive oil dip surfaced in my pasta (maybe it was the olive oil itself?). The meatballs: flavorless, rubbery and over-cooked.
Maybe I'd give Odeon a second chance, though I'm not sure I feel like potentially wasting more money on another mediocre meal. If you're in Dupont Circle, I'm sure you know there are many other restaurants to choose from. The saving grace of the night was that I was with great company and Larry's Ice Cream was half a block down the street, with their cinnamon cookie dough calling to me.